Amazon's Fire phone drops to 99 cents on contract

We had a few problems with Amazon's Fire phone, but one of the biggest was its steep asking price; $200 on contract (or $650 off) is a lot to pay for mid-range hardware with perspective effects thrown in. That won't be a problem after today. The online retailer has just slashed the price of its first handset down to 99 cents on a two-year AT&T contract, or $449 if you want to go contract-free. You'll still get the year's worth of Prime membership and unlimited cloud storage, to boot.

Amazon hasn't explained the sudden drop. However, you don't normally see this kind of discounting just six weeks after a product launch -- when it happens, that's usually a sign that people aren't buying. See the HTC First's drop to the 99-cent mark within a month of availability, for example. It's tough to know whether estimates of sub-par sales from The Guardian are anywhere near the mark (Amazon doesn't give out shipment numbers), but it's safe to presume that shoppers weren't enthralled with the Fire phone at its original, premium-level pricing.